Elena Limkina’s Surreal Illustrations: A Glimpse Into the Artist’s Intricate Narratives

All images © Elena Limkina, shared with permission

You would be greeted with ornate bird paintings, architectural flourishes, and dreamlike arrangements if you looked into Elena Limkina’s sketchbooks. The Moscow-based artist has been filling sketchbooks with these delicate studies for over a decade now, and they have gradually evolved into narratives with recurring characters and motifs. While her illustrations began as diaries filled with objects, phrases, and impressions she encountered throughout her day, they now tell their own unique stories.

She paints in watercolor, and she uses only black ink, pencil, or pen in her sketchbooks, with circular crosshatching adding shading to the meticulous drawings. “I enjoy the intricacy of the job—to express sentiments, emotions, shape, and color without using them,” she adds. “I use certain aspects of the concepts in intaglio printing (etchings, aquatint), and I intend to expand upon them on larger surfaces and sculptures in the future.”

Limkina also has a shop on Etsy, selling originals and prints. On Instagram, you may view an archive of her monochromatic works, while Behance has a gallery of them.